% Arabica Singapore

I chanced upon % Arabica coffee in Kyoto after descending from the Arashiyama bamboo grove. Back then I have never heard of the brand or logo, only remember that I saw a queue formed up outside this cafe beside the river and so I gave it a try.

When I heard that Arabica is making its way to Singapore, I decided to join in the hype. I have never attempted to queue for hours long at Shake Shack or A&W, but since coffee is usually mostly grab and go, I believe the queue will be moving quite fast

I went down on Sunday evening and the queue was about 15 minutes long. It’s not so bad considering that people queue much longer when there’s Starbucks one-for-one.

You can enlarge the menu by clicking on the image.

I had the iced latte which comes in a standard size for $8.

I gave a cup a little shake, and excitedly took my first sip. As the coffee juice gushed up the paper straw and filled my palette, I felt nothing but disappointment.

This wasn’t the coffee I remembered from Kyoto. It’s strong and robust, but I felt like it lacked something. This is average at best.

I took my second and third sip and almost wanted to throw the cup away. This is not coffee. I felt short-changed. Maybe the barista had a bad day. Maybe it lacked quality because they had to keep the queue moving quickly. Everyone around me is taking photos for Instagram. The cafe is beautiful both inside and out, but I am here for the coffee. I need energy juice. The coffee lacks power. I need a boost. I need a kick.

I was prepared to say no, this is not coffee at all, but I decided to give myself one more chance. I told myself to come back here when it’s less busy. Moreover F&B outlets are usually quite inconsistent on their initial days of opening as the staff are all just getting used to.

And so I did.

I went down again on Monday morning and there were probably only 6 people ahead of me.

This time round, I ordered the ice latte single origin for $9. This one had more flavor. I could taste the intenseness and acidity and this was the kick I wanted. It was the boost I needed.

I thought to myself, “Ahh, finally, something decent.” While coffee (and beer) is really important to me, I asked myself how am I able to justify the $9 price tag on this % Arabica Singapore branded iced latte, then I remember myself having a damn good cup for only $7 at Chye Seng Huat Hardware.

And oh yes, watch out for the paper straws at Arabica. They snap too easily.